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tshuman last won the day on June 24 2010

tshuman had the most liked content!

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1763 Excellent

About tshuman

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    Nobody, really...
  • Birthday 02/18/1953

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  • Name
    Terrance Shuman
  • School
    Atlantic High School
  • Location
    Atlantic, Iowa USA
  • Interests
    Chess, politics/current events, baseball
  • Occupation
    Debate/Forensics Coach

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  1. Thanks, but I don't think I will. The "speed good" defenders DO have a lot to answer for, and the fact that you've trotted out the usual "explanations" doesn't change that one bit... As for your so-called "alt causes," let's take them in order... Policy debate has ALWAYS been time-intensive. Seriously, are you arguing that in these times of the internet, cheap printers, etc. that policy takes MORE time than it used to take when kids had to go to the library, spend hours photocopying original books and magazines, etc.? That is absurd. And sorry, but the time spent organizing your 400-page A/T Time Cube camp file doesn't count as "work," either... Policy debate has ALWAYS been complex. That didn't used to matter, as policy programs thrived for decades, even after the invention of LD. Your apparent belief that modern students are mostly turned off by what you call policy's "complexity" is self-serving at best, obnoxiously condescending at worst. Kids aren't giving up on/never taking up policy debate because it is "too complex" for their little brains to comprehend. I can't believe you actually think kids would rather do PF or LD because the rounds take less time to run... Coaching policy has ALWAYS been challenging, for veterans and newcomers alike. To argue that folks have given up on coaching policy because PF and LD are "easier" is insulting. And if you think that the coaches who have given up on policy but still coach PF and/or LD suddenly have a lot more time and money on their hands because of that decision, I would suggest that you talk to some more coaches in that situation. I'm sure they'd be happy to explain to you how asinine your "point" is... Hmmm. Normally, something labeled an "alt cause" is something DIFFERENT from what your opponent has isolated as a cause. Saying "policy is tough to follow" isn't an alternative to someone saying "We can't understand a word these kids are saying, assuming they're actually saying words in the first place..." The entirety of your so-called "alt causes" argument boils down to a bunch of self-serving ad hominem blather about how LD/PF debaters and coaches are too lazy and/or stupid to do policy. Is this the best you can do? Yo Ian, John, Ankur, et. al.: You really think anything about the conversation will be different this time? Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, mes amis...
  2. If the relative handful of grown-ups still hanging around here want to revive this discussion for the umpteen millionth time, knock yourselves out. You're wasting your time, of course, but it's yours to waste... It certainly doesn't advance the discussion at all to trot out the old "false dichotomy" fallacy, like this: Those are the only choices? Go fast or go stupid? Who knew? And silly us for thinking making people like debate more would increase participation rates... It also doesn't help to swallow the planted axiom in statements like this: Any intelligent conversation about the effects of hyper-fast delivery on policy debate needs to acknowledge that there is no evidence--as in, none at all--that such delivery rates are the key to the educational value of debate. And, by the way, the folks who think fast debate = smart debate have a lot to answer for, given how many thousands of kids will never get a chance to get any educational benefits from debate AT ALL because their schools' programs died (or were never begun in the first place). People who say delivery style had nothing to do with that are deluding themselves...
  3. He's not surprised, he's confused. That's the usual reaction people have when reading your posts...
  4. A necessary evil in service of the joke. I haven't changed all that much...
  5. He went to KU, not to McKendree...
  6. Something non-vacuous, I should think...
  7. So now the youngsters are interested in learning more about what it was that they helped kill off? Priceless... Opinions will vary on when/why this website began to decline. Some of the key factors have already been identified, but for what it's worth (admittedly very little) I think the following factors had the most to do with it: Kerpen's emotional disengagement from the site. I first cyber-met Phil back in the early '90s on the old cx-l. Thought he was pretty sharp, and I shared his enthusiasm for vigorous discussions about debate theory (believe it or not, the old listservs used to be full of that sort of thing). When he contacted me in 2001 to be the first moderator of the Coaching forum, I was happy to help. And for so long as Phil's passion for the activity was strong, so was this website. As the trajectory of his life began to change, though, and as this website became more of a revenue stream and less of an intellectual passion, changes began taking place, most of them for the worse, but especially: The decision to strip moderators of their powers. While there were doubtless some instances of young mods doing heinous things with their authority (young people are, by definition, somewhat immature), I don't think those problems warranted the wholesale reduction in ALL moderators' powers. Essentially, being a moderator became little more than being the person (or persons) who were expected to report to Mat when there was a problem in a particular forum. As one might imagine, moderators with no real authority found this new bureaucratic process more than a little insulting. Why should someone like Scu, or Tomak, or DeCoach, etc. have to go through Mat to keep their forums functioning properly? The "tragedy of the commons" problem. When you combine the first two influences, what happened subsequently makes perfect sense. Once neither Phil nor the long-time supporters of the site felt any sense of emotional ownership of the site, it began to be overrun by the trolls and others who could mess with it to their heart's content without fear of meaningful consequences. Screwing with cross-x.com was "free," so why not? Even if you WANTED the site to be a useful, educational place (and many, many of the long-time contributors did), why fight the rising tide of nonsense and stupidity, especially since you basically had no weapons to fight it with? The Purge certainly hurt, especially for the long-time members who lost so much of their contributions, and the increasingly-fraudulent "elections" chased away a lot of members as well.
  8. Not "back." Just trying to please an old acquaintance... I think there is a correlation, just not the one most people would assume... Not sure who your source is for this factoid, but it is almost certainly false...
  9. I suppose I should know better, but an old friend who still hangs out here apparently isn't going to stop harassing me until I do this... The first flaw in this argument is its assumption that debate had no educational value before the current mania for hyper-fast delivery began. That position is, to put it charitably, unsupportable... The second flaw in this argument is that it is petitio principii; that is, it simply asserts as proven the very proposition (speed = better) it is intended to support. You cannot establish the claim that speed is good/valuable/essential/whatever simply by asserting that this is so, and then using this assertion as the starting point for your responses to speed's critics... Well, that is certainly the claim made on its behalf. Let's see if you can improve on the usual pro-speed boilerplate... So? If the debater's arguments are crap, 2 x crap still = crap. Likewise, if a debater's evidence is crap, 2x crap still = crap. Some arguments are better than others, and some evidence is better than other evidence. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to show that a tactic (speed) which allows the introduction of MORE of a thing into a speech necessarily means the introduction of more GOOD stuff. Or is it your claim that quantity is the only metric that matters? Answered above. Your analysis requires a demonstration that increased quantity does not come at the expense of quality. And even a casual observer would chuckle at your "in-depth" claim... And if those additional positions were any good, you'd have at least a shred of a point. But you aren't proving that claim, you're simply asserting it. I don't know what rounds you've been listening to, but far too many hyper-fast debaters are using the technique in order to shoehorn in a bit more crap, in the hopes that the opponent will under-cover or mishandle said crap, to the benefit of the crap-running debater. In other words, the interest in speed is strictly tactical; it has ZERO to do with fostering "in-depth discussion," or "analyzing more interactions," or any of that other stuff... "Certainly"? Nothing is more certainly FALSE than this claim. Completely aside from the demonstrable effects it has had on recruitment/retention (of coaches as well as debaters), and the alienation of even former policy debaters a few years removed from the activity (this alienation is a major factor in program death, by the way), even the supposed educational advantages ("Speedy speaking makes you smarter," etc.) don't withstand scrutiny. If the various educational advantages claimed for hyper-fast delivery rates were real, EVERY institution which would benefit from those advantages would train people in the technique. That its use is pretty much confined to academic debate speaks volumes. And here's a point you almost never see made in these discussions: Even if there were tangible cognitive benefits to learning to speak at hyper-fast rates, that in itself does not justify employing the technique in actual debates. You could get the claimed cognitive benefits by practicing speaking/reading that quickly, but debate at more normal rates. Doing this would avoid the adverse consequences speed has on the activity... Speaking of logical fallacies, this one (hasty generalization) is also a frequent visitor in these conversations. I'm sorry, but your (very) limited experience doesn't outweigh decades of evidence trending in the opposite direction. I would also point out that you have no way of knowing how many debaters your program would have if it were practicing a more moderate delivery style. How many novices, for instance, would say "You guys talk too slow...I'm outta here!" Novices, by their very nature, don't have any basis for believing anything about debate. They absorb the attitudes/opinions of the more experienced members and/or the coach. In short, they are tabula rasa, no more likely to become debaters because of an emphasis on speed than they are likely to shun debate because of a lack of speed... Yes, that's it. The reason all those coaches have given up on the event and programs have died for lack of institutional support is because people haven't watched enough videos of rounds from bid tournaments...
  10. So, you're saying its kind of like your approach to fantasy football? The whole rep thing is just a sideshow. Obviously, people around here have valued your contributions to the website over the years, despite Batterman's snark. That's all I was (and am) saying... Don't worry, I will bring MY gear (you know, the stuff I use when I play in USCF tournaments for money... )...
  11. Sorry I didn't get back to y'all last night, but I got distracted over here... Right back at you. That you think those two points are contradictory says more about your analytical ability than it says about mine. Consider:The reputation system on this website isn't perfect, but it has merit. In the context of Batterman's crack about Duane being a "caricature," I think it is relevant that while Duane hasn't been around this website as long as Batterman has his contributions have resulted in approximately twice as much positive reputation. Keep in mind also that, as I'm sure Duane could tell you, he's gotten a fair amount of neg rep over the years, something that goes with the territory when you speak your mind as he does. Even so, the scoreboard says that users here have found his contributions helpful, more so than Batterman's. That doesn't mean he's right or wrong in this particular instance, but it is evidence that Batterman's "caricature" slam was out of line... The Anatole France reference is a pretty common one in response to vox populi, vox dei kinds of claims. I still maintain that the popularity of the code-breaking effort (which, unlike giving positive rep to Duane, directly benefits the people advocating it) does not establish its ethical legitimacy. As Adrianna's post points out, this effort goes beyond people simply volunteering their own code information; they also reveal other peoples' codes, whether those folks like it or not. So, let's not pretend it is all simply a good-faith effort to make for better debates. It is an effort to make scouting and pre-round preparation easier. I might return to this subject later, but for now I will simply point out that the NFL National Tournament Manual says "The NFL Executive Council strongly discourages debate scouting at the National Tournament." Attempts to disseminate code information, thus, are at odds with NFL's philosophy, which suggests that folks who find such efforts ethically troubling aren't simply a bunch of cranks... Except it isn't as simple as that. The original comment of mine to which Thomas was responding was in response to Batterman's comment about folks who violate tab room ethics. I was simply pointing to the irony of someone committed to subverting NFL's expressed philosophy on scouting complaining about others' lack of ethics. That's all. Thomas's reply seemed to assume I was saying the two practices were equivalent. I tried to clear that up subsequently, but am happy to do so again if you had trouble understanding it the first time... And then there's this: I rest my case... Seriously, I don't have a dog in the code vs. no code fight (except to point out that No Code was a crappy album... ), and there is some merit in Thomas's position. But the issue isn't as simple as he makes it out to be, either, and in any event the point is that the folks who disagree with NFL's philosophy on scouting ought to be lobbying the Executive Council, not participating in a blatant effort designed to make a mockery of that philosophy. Batterman ain't Robin Hood... And, finally... First, congratulations on your achievement! Nicely done... As indicated above, I don't disagree with everything Thomas said, but I do feel he is oversimplifying a bit. I don't really want to get into that issue at the moment, though if this thread winds up going there I may contribute what I can to that discussion. Meanwhile... Out of curiosity: In what way is it odd or ridiculous to point out someone's positive image on this website as a rejoinder to someone else calling that person a "caricature"? Duane is a friend of mine, and a staunch friend of the activity as well. If you don't think his positive reputation here is evidence that Batterman's insult was unfounded, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree... I am sorry if you find discussions of privilege troubling, but let me be clear: You won NFL Nationals by dint of your own hard work, talent, and a bit of fortune. No one is suggesting that you "bought" the championship (at least I'm not). Obviously, lots of other schools better situated than Whitney Young were there, and you prevailed. Duane's concern has nothing to do with denigrating your achievement... The way to do that would be to point out factual errors in what I wrote, rather than posing straw-person arguments. For instance... Nothing I wrote about WY claimed it was "rich." I simply pointed out that it can afford to travel to some pretty expensive/exclusive tournaments. I did so in response to Batterman's playing the UDL card. I think you would agree that WY isn't the sort of school that leaps to mind when thinking about NAUDL's Mission Statement... I made no "blind assertions." I stated facts easily gleaned from WY's own website. I'm not talking about where WY gets its budget, I'm talking about the fact that it is a selective institution to which students must be admitted. It is, by definition, not open to all public school students in its area. That's why I used the adjective "basically." On WY's Admissions page, we read: "Whitney M. Young Magnet High School has a long tradition of offering a rigorous college prep curriculum to Chicago's most academically advanced students." All I'm saying is, you folks ain't Kansas City Central... Again, I never claimed WY was a "rich" school. I simply pointed out your travel schedule. Regardless of how you got there, I think you would agree that such a schedule confers benefits which are simply not available to many, many truly "public" high schools... No one, least of all me, is suggesting otherwise... Again, I would simply direct you to WY's own website. Certainly it sees itself institutionally as "elite." There's nothing wrong with that, and there is no reason for you to be defensive about it... I neither said nor implied any such thing, and it doesn't do your argument any good service to suggest otherwise... I also welcome the discussion. There's more (MUCH more) to the issue of how level the playing field is at NFL Nationals than money. This all started when Duane suggested that 25 years of championships being won by "circuit" schools wasn't necessarily something to be celebrated. His concern (which is shared by many, many coaches, myself included) is that policy debate has become a private preserve dominated by a relatively small handful of privileged (not necessarily affluent) institutions. Someone like yourself who appreciates the value of hard work and overcoming obstacles ought to be more sympathetic to the argument that some obstacles to success in policy at NFL Nationals have become so entrenched that non-circuit schools can basically forget about competing realistically for a National Championship...
  12. Not so. If this were true, what would be the point of case hits? Oddly enough, this way of thinking about counterplans is pretty archaic; when CPs first debuted, this was the sort of logic the Old Guard used: "CPs are dumb because they concede that Status Quo is flawed." After some pretty bright folks codified CP theory a little bit, you stopped hearing this sort of thing. Kind of weird to see it popping up again... The problem with your analysis is that it assumes too much. If I object your bill because I think there is a better approach than yours to Problem X, that doesn't commit me to actually proposing such legislation, nor am I precluded from arguing against your bill unless my own competing legislation is in the hopper. And, if you want to go all real-world legislative process with this, when was the last time a vote against Bill X automatically became a vote for Bill Y? That ain't how it works. You sound like one of those folks who thinks the House can pass amendments to a bill before it has actually passed the original bill. Oh, wait... To repeat: Decision-making models in which counterplans are considered actual alternatives to Affplan for which the judge may vote are, to put it gently, intellectually incoherent. The ballot is either an acceptance of Affplan or a rejection of it. Period. Nothing else makes any sense... People do it all the time. Don't forget, a lot of folks are pretty new to the forum, and might not otherwise see the discussion. Also, since the Great Pruning, a lot of really interesting theory stuff is gone for good...
  13. Yeah, I get that a lot... Not as big a one as you think. I'm not defending folks who abuse their position in tab. Frankly, they're lucky I'm not the one in charge of doling out penalties for such behavior. That said, the sharing of code information is intended to defeat the purpose of the coding system. That a lot of folks participate in this "project" has nothing to do with its ethical implications. "If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing," etc. And NFL's purpose, of course, is to minimize scouting to the extent it is possible to do so. Disagree with that philosophy if you will, but please don't make the architects of its subversion out to be some sort of folk-heroes...
  14. With all due respe...aaaaaaaaaaaahhh, to HELL with that! Stick it, sir. Duane is more than capable of defending himself, but speaking only for myself, I am not inclined to sit by while you bash someone who has twice your positive reputation. Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? They are also a magnet school focused on a college-prep curriculum exclusively. They have around 2,200 hand-picked students (who must achieve a minimum test score before they can even apply for admission). As I'm sure you know, they competed this season at Greenhill, Valley, UMich, Blake, MBA, Pace, and Emory (in addition to the Glenbrooks and the Northwestern RR, which are in their backyard but hardly cheap). When you said "UDL," I'm sure you meant for folks to infer you were talking about a basically private school that sends kids to elite tournaments all over the place, right? How is that relevant to Duane's argument? They're not an exclusive, private school anymore? Times are tough budget-wise most places, but they still managed to get to Cali twice and Vegas twice... Again, did anything Duane said take away from their achievements? Yes, they worked hard, and yes, they are to be congratulated for reaching the national finals, but what does that have to do with Duane's concern? I'm glad he's here. You, on the other hand... As opposed to unethically masterminding the code-breaking project every year?
  15. Typically mid-July or so. Last year's announcement didn't appear until August 7th, though...
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